After some spells of very warm, sunny, dry cricketing weather this season, as we approached the end of July in typical NAG style the weather starts to deteriorate. With the Saturday League matches valiently completed (with wins grasped by both 1st & 2nd XIs) in conditions of refreshing showers (aka constant drizzle) the tourists threw their
oilskins, sorry, cricket bags into the tour wagons and headed west....
It is yet to be seen whether any scribes will emerge to document the endeavours on & off the wicket of this year's tourists, or how many rumours fit for publication will leak out regardless. But to establish the terms of engagement: usual tour name rules apply. To quote from preceeding diaries "We will say this only once". And as a former Lady Cheese discovered to her relief, it should be bourne in mind that any reports of events can be assumed to highly stylised, bearing a far greater relationship to ambition & imagination [particularly off the pitch], generally regarded as apocryphal, definitely should not be used in evidence and all matters sub judice will remain so..
Tour Match - 25 Overs per side (Reduced by weather)
Oldbury 151-5 (25 overs)
New Ash Green 110-6 (24 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 41 runs
The chirp on the wires was that a reduced match of 25 over innings was decided on, the tourists took to the field and restricted Oldbury to 152-5 with Edward "Ted" Quantrill taking 3 scalps, Martin "St Ives" Ives & Ollie "Coop Dog" Cooper a wicket apiece. No doubt fortified by the customary excellent tea, Matt "Bushtaq" Bushe was top scoring amongst the tourists with 31, but the match succumbed to the weather prior to the last over. Whether Duckworth Lewis was applied and whether a definitive result was ever recorded will hopefully be confirmed in due course. Meanwhile the tourists are understood to have returned to the metropolis to explore the heights of hotel living (the delights of Goldney Halls withheld until Monday) and further news must be patiently awaited, although it is understood that the relevant authorites have wisely cancelled all leave.
Now that the formal results have partially come in, the Editor can confirm that the advance reports were largely correct. They can be expanded to reveal that an as yet unknown Tourist Skipper won the toss and elected to field. Callum "Fabian" Whittern took an excellent early catch, only to be filled with sufficient contrition to allow the opposition to reap revenge from his generous bowling. Bushtaq & James "Nasher" Nash also getting early entries into the Sure Hands Cup stakes, the latter cutting off one of the Hosts' leading protagonists a disrespectful 5 runs short of his 50. Otherwise the bowling (though hopefully not the bowlers at this stage of the proceedings) appears to have been generally kept tight, openers Ted (with 3 for 9 off 4) and Ian "Hammer" Mellor (0 for 10 off 4) setting the standard. Only Jasper "Mags" Holliday letting down the tourist's reputation by failing to extend his customary genorosity to the Hosts' bats (offering only a meagre 0 for 16 off 2). Oldbury as traditional fielded a player so named as to befuddle the tourists, but how much this
is to blame for affected the result is yet to be convincingly argued. Detailed news of the second truncated innings is yet to be released from the scorebook...
We can now confirm that Hammer was in charge and therefore culpable should any blame be required and Chris "Edge" Hoddinott showed
typical disloyalty true tour spirit, offering if not to bat for the other side then at least to bowl for them, and claiming the 2nd wicket of former NAG Leading Light & now expat (Avon is foreign parts isn't it?) Andy "Shirley or possibly Payner" Payne caught & bowled, thereby as usual only coming into form way past mid-season. However this was not before Payner and Bushtaq (brought in at 3 to settle the innings after the early fall of St Ives) had shored up the score and steadied the tide and other appropriate synonyms with the Severn just over the boundary. However after Bushtaq's stumps were blown at 73-3, the tourists settled into the customary tenpins display gently subsided to the home bowlers without further impacting on the scoreboard in any major way until (and no doubt they will rest the blame on this) the deteriorating weather called the game to a halt after the 24th over, the tourists accepting the umpires adjudication of a defeat.
The forecast for Monday is largely fair with only a chance of a shower around teatime, so the tourists are expected to warm up with a morning visit to the Bowlplex enroute to the match at Coalpit Heath...
Tour Match - 25 Over Match (reduced by weather)
Coalpit Heath 101-9 (25 overs)
New Ash Green 81-10 (25 overs)*
New Ash Green lost by
hopefully a small margin of 20 runs
*yes, yes, I know this has all changed completely overnight - the Editor should have known better than to trust a tweeting Chair
An Official Match report including proper cricketing descriptions may or may not be forthcoming. Meanwhile continuing the Temporary Interim Bullatin:
Typically by mid-morning it was clear that the Tour Itinery (aka The Bushey Bible) was off the rails already as the touring party were sighted happily embracing their inner chimp* at the Jungle Rumble Golf Adventure, rather than honing their bowling arms as per. Rumours suggest that the scores were going the way of an early season league collapse, but apparently in golf circles that is a GOOD THING. It is understood that Nasher was top dog (or should that be top monkey?) and Hammer was left in the starting gate in the company of Andy "Tino" Mayers, but there are suspicions that the margins weren't large. Still no definitive news of the foreshortened 2nd innings at Oldbury but luckily the Editor received a photo from a bystander at the ground...
And so onto the match at Coalpit Heath... It appears that once again the rain gods are at play and the match took the reduced form of a T20. Early gossip eminating from the 2023 Culture Capital suggests that the tourists came second, attempting to chase down 102 and murmurings of much falling of wickets, possibly due to the tourists uncharacteristically somehow managing to annoy the gods, but further elaboration is yet to be found. It is possible that the success of the subsequent evening is to blame for the lack of coherent communication. We may be able to bring you further news in due course.
Now that we have access to the scorebook it can be reported that not only did we yet again have Coopers batting for both sides, and this time both Hammer & Edge
breaking ranks showing willing & batting for the other side, but the game was played as a 9-a-side-with-2nd-turns, according to Official Scorer Mags (OSM)...so any extrapolation may be suspect.
Consequently it would appear that the Tourists racked up at least 11 wickets atwix them and many a catch, which should make any attempt at compiling stats interesting. Honourable mention should probably go to Ted for his first hat trick,
but suspect it will be all the sweeter for Edge (aka Defector) being the middle victim. Presumably there will have been some suffering at fines for stacking up a final tally of 4 wickets & a catch. Unfortunately the two apiece of St Ives, Tino & Fabian were thus overshadowed. There were no high scorers amongst the tourist's batting, though the Honourable Mention goes to Skipper Bushtaq for attention to stats producing the only 0* of the innings (though not the only 0). And it is good to see that all that time spent 'up t'north' hasn't completely ruined Coop Dog ability with catch n bat albeit his bowling's a little rusty. Edge will no doubt be bragging his 3 scalps around the bars of the waterfront, including a revenge duck for Ted. Though whether he will be allowed back into the tourist's side at some point remains to be seen (it's possible that the Hammer was playing a longer game.)
It is to be assumed that many fleshpots were visited and much more scoring achieved once the tourists had returned to the metropolis of Bristol and their more familiar surroundings of Goldney Hall, although whether before or after they fell unconscious is less certain, there are
charge sheets suggesting rumours that some were still vocal & audible in the wee small hours.
Theoretically (ie according to TBB) the bright eyed boys of Kent will tomorrow be heading across the Clifford, first to warm up on the Pitch 'n' Putt above Brissol (so this morning was a warm up for tomorrow morning's warm up?) and then on to our Hosts at Failand & Portbury.
*thereby benefiting from the zillions spent propping up Brailsford's boys.
Tour Match - 40 Overs per side
Failand & Portbury 149 all out (38.4 overs)
New Ash Green 129 all out (34.4 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 20 runs
In a break with precedent, the tourists did indeed take to the hills this morning for the annual Golfing Championships, should any results have been achieved they may be recorded at a later point.
On arrival at the ground Skipper Tino took control of the first full 40 over match of tour, winning the toss and inserting F&P in a game in which both sides appear to have fielded a full XI.
Ted disgraced himself only managing to collect 2 wickets, and Coop Dog proved he hasn't lost it entirely mopping up the final wicket of the innings. Earlier Nasher and Skipper were collecting catches and Lee "Mad Hatter aka Rocky" Lipscombe was staking his claim in the stats with a two-fer, several other tourists making the scorebook, whilst Mags was getting very excited delving into the finer minutiae in the Scoring Hut with a friend and a laptop (he has been heard since begging our beleagured club treasurer to invest club funds in new "scoring" apps).
With no Ringer Dezzer today, the Skipper Tino was obliged to set the standard himself, opening and running up the high score of 36, which middle order Michael "Galaboom" Gallagher supported with a decent 26* whilst the rest of the tourists played cameos. And it should be said the tourists gave it a fair whack, with the last wicket falling in the 39th over a meagre 21 runs short.
Back to the Halls and the gentlemen of tour headed out to impress, with no definite activity planned for the am it is to be hoped that all will be tucked up in bed early getting a good night's repose before facing the unknown of our new hosts tomorrow at Twyford House. Subject to survival further details should be forthcoming in due course.
Unfortunately the word from the Men at the Met is that our old friend
may be seeking some action. Lets hope not. And happier rumours that some indoor bowling may be in prospect for morning amusement of survivors. More anon...
Scorecard has arrived.
Before we move on to the inactivity of Wednesday, finally we have enough to start looking at some interim Tour Stats Those who care about such things should note that, despite the apparent disparity, these stats are in fact more accurate than the playcricket ones, since at great cost to the nerves & wine budget of the compiler they do accurately take account of the shinanigans at Coalpit Heath and the various defections by certain Tourists in various matches in the name of the Spirit of Cricket.
Tour Match - Cancelled due weather
The day dawned dull and damp and the surviving tourists headed for Avonmead for some underarm bowling, some choosing the scenic route and some routing via Bath. In a hotly contested tournament the following results can be announced (to be added later).
The tourists then had a very pretty route along the lower gorge road over to sample the beverages and nosh at the Lamplighters in Shirehampton, enjoying the river view and awaiting the 2pm pitch inspection at nearby TH. Unfortunately the morning's rain had done its work, the fixture was regretfully cancelled in the interests of restricting damage to the square and so the tourists headed back to Bristol and varying pursuits.
We can however bring a view of where hopefully many emphatic Tour Wins will be achieved in future years.
We await in hope to see what Thursday brings.
Tour Match - 30 Overs per side (weather reduced)
Barrow Gurney 162-8 (30 overs)
New Ash Green 149-3 (22.4 overs)
Match abandoned due weather
The travelling tourists took advantage of free morning to complete the customary crossword, fuel up on pancakes and generally get sorted, finally take delivery of the errant tour shirts and arrive at the Princes Motto in good time for the customary protracted lunch service. However under new management the team was fed and watered in short order and were actually at the ground in time for the first of a series of showers to blow in. The start time was pushed back an hour amid a certain amount of dubosity, but the windy conditions helped to blow the various bouts of rain through and shortly after 3pm the captains headed out for a quick inspection of the wicket and a coin was tossed, a shortened 30 overs agreed and NAG took to the field. Clearly refreshed and invigorated by their day off, the tourists soon started taking wickets and amid the sunshine & light showers, with Skipper Ted working his way through just about every bowling option bar the wicky, they managed to contain the hosts to a very chasable 162-8. Mentions going to Nasher for excessive maidenhood, Mags for excessive celebration, Hammer Edge for excessive sideline sledging & Gallaboom for excessive nochalence in catchtaking.
Rainbow over Barrow Gurney
As usual a fine tea was offered and rapidly devoured. After which the tourists settled in to the chase hopeful of the first & final tour win of the season. However despite a solid opening partnership from Tino & Webby (39 a piece) and good backing up from their ringing replacements at 3 & 4, Sitting Ona & Croaker, it was not to be. As the tourists ate into the scorecard the rains started to blew in again in earnest and despite the clear enthusiasm from both sides to get a game completed, the ferocity of the shower finally prevaled on the umps in the 23rd over with NAG a mere 14 runs shy of the win, indeed it could justifably be called that bad light halted play. However once safely back in the clubhouse and the abandon decision agreed, the weather relented and a convivial beverage and the final tour fines could be enjoyed against a benign, almost sunny evening backdrop.
Scorecard to come
It is probably fair to be said that to get four games in with the weather that was forecast was better than might have been anticipated, and despite a fairly select (ie small) touring party, the survival rate was good & it was undoubtably still a fairly successful tour with everyone getting a go and most of the tourists having at least one good performance. After the traditional tour meal and awards, as the majority contemplate a final hurrah in the waterholes of Bristol, it is time for a few final lines. Thanks again, as always, to all our opposition and to Bushtaq for putting in all the work to organise the fixtures and accomodation and keep track of who is playing. His reward will... well, hopefully the satisfaction of another year in the book. Final tour averages will be updated here shortly, and it is time to say farewell to the West Country until 2018.
A final tour image:
Of course what goes on tour, stays on tour, so it is not to be reported in these annals what the actual Tour Awards were and who were the recipients (if you want to be in the know, you'd better sign up for next year's tour so you'll be in the know), but in overwriting the reports on a page from previous years, I happened upon some spurious awardments from 2013 which certainly seemed to be re-awardable this year. So herewith the web-tour-awards-2017:
The "I Can Do it For Them" Award to Edge for playing better for the opposition than NAG, hang on, he didn't even attempt to play for NAG.
The "Absence Noted" Award to Senior Pro, for obvious reasons.
The "Keeping it Tight" Award to Nasher for the most excessively economical bowling figures on tour.
The "Nonchalance" Award to Gallaboom for taking a catch one handed by his ears as if he did it every day.